When I had my first sip of this soup my brain said “rasam". I read the introduction to this soup and it is derived from a recipe from Yamuna Devi! The Indian flavors are tamed (just a touch) and made contemporary with the use of barely cooked vegetables. Deborah Madison is another master in the kitchen. Bright, light and healthy, this soup is all that and then some. The barely cooked vegetables and rice add some texture to this amazing broth. Please stay very light on the spices, this is a very delicate and flavorful broth. Yes, it is worthwhile to make the stock, it is easy, this stock makes this soup. However, if you insist on being lazy, use a commercial vegetable or chicken broth that is diluted down. The long list of ingredients are not an indicator of how easy this soup is to make, don’t be intimidated by this. This cookbook is one of many that sit in the “soup and bread" section of my library. I have cooked through approximately 1/3rd of this cookbook, each recipe phenomenal. Deborah Madison was one of the first to embrace the farm-to-table movement, and her recipes highlight the freshness and flavors of the ingredients. I highly recommend all of her cookbooks!
For more wonderful recipes from this cookbook, click here.
For the stock:
2 ribs celery, diced
2 carrots, roughly diced
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cup tomatoes, diced
Salt to taste
trimmings and scraps from the vegetables, pepper stalk, seeds and ribs, cucumber skins, carrots tops and any other scraps.
A few stems of cilantro
A few stems mint
A few stems parsley
10 cups water
For the soup:
2 carrots, cut into thin batons
1 yellow bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed and cut into thin strips
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon paprika or ground chili powder
1 large cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 tablespoon mint , minced
1 tablespoon parsley, minced
1 tablespoon cilantro, minced
1/2 teaspoon green chili, finely minced
2-3 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup cooked rice
Yogurt, whipped smooth (optional)
To make the stock:
Add all the ingredients for the stock and bring to a simmer. Gently simmer, closed, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain the solids from the stock, pressing the liquids with a spatula to get as much out as possibl. You should have at least 8 cups, if less add water to make up the volume approximately.
To make the soup:
While the stock is simmering prepare the vegetables for the soup. Add the oil to a deep stock pot, one that will hold the entire soup, and add the soup ingredients from the carrots to the chili powder. Sauté on medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Set aside if the stock is not ready.
Add the cucumbers and the stock and simmer gently for 6-8 minutes. Add the peas and cook for 1 minute. By this time the cucumbers should look transparent. Take off the heat and add the green chilies and minced herbs. Stir well. Taste and adjust for salt. The soup should pop with flavor and the vegetables should be just cooked through, not falling apart.
Serve warm or hot topped with a heaping tablespoon of rice and a dollop of yogurt.